Satellite television

Chairman Nadler’s Statement for Markup of HR 5140, the Satellite Television Community Protection and Advancement Act of 2019

Washington, DC – Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delivered the following opening remarks during the markup of HR 5140, the Protection and Promotion Act of 2019 from the satellite TV community:

“HR 5140, the “Satellite Television Community Protection and Promotion Act,” amends the satellite television distant signal license contained in Section 119 of the Copyright Act. license is currently due to expire at the end of this year.

“Under Section 119, satellite carriers may import programming from an out-of-state broadcast network to subscribers in certain types of homes. strong enough signal; RVs and commercial trucks; Households that receive a waiver from an affiliated local network to receive a distant signal; Households that are in markets where local service is available but have been “excluded in eligibility, and households in ‘short markets’, where one or more of the local grids is not available at all.

“When satellite operators use this license, they pay government-set royalty rates for out-of-state remote programming and do not need to negotiate with individual copyright holders.

“Households that receive licensed programs do not see their local news, local weather, or local emergency alerts. Instead, they receive news, weather, and emergency alerts from distant markets like New York or Los Angeles.

“Congress originally created the Section 119 license in 1988, when the satellite industry was in its infancy. The license was enacted as a temporary measure to ensure that the new satellite industry could compete the cable effectively. The 1988 Congress would consider this mission accomplished.

“More than 30 years have passed since the section was enacted, during which the satellite industry has become two major players, with nationwide subscription.

“Technology has also advanced, allowing satellite operators to retransmit local stations into these homes instead of distant out-of-state signals.

“One satellite operator provides this local service in all 210 media markets; another provides local service in 198 of those markets. A separate license under Section 122 of the Copyright Act governs this type of service. license have local broadcast stations that serve their area and broadcast news and other information relevant and important to them.

“HR 5140 takes into account this changing landscape and prioritizes the provision of local programming by letting most of the license expire and making use of the remaining portion of the license conditional on the provision of local services by the satellite operator in all 210 media markets.

“This legislation also recognizes that some households could be at risk of losing access to these stations in a purely market-based system. , which are not in fixed places. The license is made permanent for these two groups.

“Under HR 5140, the bulk of the license expires, as Congress intended 30 years ago, while the status is made permanent for some of the most vulnerable subscribers. And in that process, HR 5140 helps bring local television to these communities.

“I urge my colleagues to support HR 5140.”